As the Dallas Cowboys begin to fine-tune their strategy for the 2023 season, important questions await answers beyond the franchise’s control.
Namely, how many of the Cowboys’ coordinators are returning?
Defense coordinator Dan Quinn seems the least likely to return with a wave of head coaching interest. Quinn has already interviewed twice for the Arizona Cardinals vacancy, once for the Denver Broncos vacancy and virtually for the Indianapolis Colts vacancy — with an in-person interview scheduled in Indianapolis on Saturday, according to multiple reports.
Moore spent two days this week interviewing for the Carolina Panthers’ lead role, according to multiple reporters.
So Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy, who enters his fourth season at the helm, can’t yet account for all the staff variables in the days following the Cowboys’ 19-12 divisional round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
But as exit interviews with players and staff progress this week, at least six assistants will not be returning from this staff.
Senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who mentored All-Pro Micah Parsons’ linebacker/edge rusher development during his first two seasons was one of the biggest surprises among those not renewed.
The Cowboys also did not renew the contract of running backs coach Skip Peete, who coached Tony Pollard to his first Pro Bowl season and oversaw a 24-touchdown running back tandem in Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.
Offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett, assistant head coach Rob Davis and quality control analytics coach Kyle Valero will also not be returning. Philbin helped stabilize Dallas’ line this year, in part through the quick and productive acclimation of rookie first-rounder Tyler Smith to a hybrid left tackle/left guard role. McCarthy credited Valero with a crash course for veteran receiver TY Hilton, who signed Dallas in December.
“We thank these men for their hard work, dedication and contributions to the Cowboys,” McCarthy said in a statement released by the team on Thursday. “Each of them represented our team and our organization at a high, professional level with class and dedication to make our team better.”
The Cowboys’ loss to the 49ers on Sunday marked their 27th consecutive year of failing to win a conference championship, let alone a Super Bowl title. But under McCarthy, the team has grown from an initial injury-packed 6-10 campaign to a 12-5 season and a wild card exit in Year 2 and then a 12-5 performance and division round exit in Year 3. matched the vision McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, had to offer. But progress has been steady, with the Cowboys also qualifying for back-to-back playoffs for the first time in 15 years.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has not doubted McCarthy’s job security in recent months, voicing his support after each of the playoff games.
The composition of McCarthy’s 2023 staff, particularly the coordinator, remains a work in progress.
McCarthy is scheduled to address Dallas reporters about the personnel changes and the wider season on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
“These were tough decisions because of the great respect I have for each of them as a coach and person of character, coupled with the experiences we’ve all had together,” McCarthy said in the statement. “This is the hardest part of the business and we wish them nothing but the best.”
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